Being Appreciative of That Thing

Hey everyone.. Hope the nice holiday was eventful for you and hope you’re doing well. It has been a minute and I can explain. So, I was away at a conference and I’ll share more about it in a later post, so my focus was on that and then I moved the week of thanksgiving so then I was focused on that and now I’m about to attend a workshop out-of-town so just been a tad bit busy, but that shouldn’t be an excuse. Still should have checked in. I’m writing this as I need to start packing but I will be short.

One of the things I thought about this morning is just being appreciative of the things we do have. Making that a focus in our thoughts. This year again, I wasn’t able to make it down to see my family, but I was appreciative of being able to communicate with them. This just falls in line with what I wanted to share today.

Being Appreciative of the Little Things

At times we have a tendency to ignore the good things in our life, from our families, friendships, our health, our senses, etc. How much do you take advantage of these good things in your life? Maybe we don’t call people as much or just say aloud how much you appreciate these things in your life that you may take for granted. Sometimes these things that we should shout to the mountain tops that we are grateful for are as simple as opening your eyes in the morning or being able to have another day, these things are supposed to happen right?, so why show appreciation for them?

Well, when we start to appreciate little aspects of our life, it becomes that much more important to us, we nurture those things if we can, we also move towards changing our focus. How? Well, this may help us shift our focus from the not so great things in our life, to just being appreciative that we have our health and with that your health may become more of a priority and you start to consistently participate in activities that can benefit your health and this takes you away from criticizing self and focusing on all the things you can’t do. Make sense?

Showing this gratitude and appreciation of everyday things in your life, helps to change your thoughts and we know from previous posts, this can help with changing how you feel and behave in situations.

So, I challenge, if you’re up for it, as we’re in the last few weeks of the year, what is one small thing you’re appreciative for in your life and what will you do to nurture that as the new year is upon us?

Preparing For A Panic Attack

Ever have that feeling, your heart feels like it’s about to come out of your chest, you can’t fully breathe, can’t find a way to calm yourself down, you’re just in the state of trying to find something and nothing really helps because you’re in a state of panic. That right there is part of experiencing a panic attack and it’s not anything nice. I’ve had a few and its an unexplainable sudden, intense feeling and if I knew then what I know now, I think I could have handled it a bit differently. Before I get into ways to manage a panic attack,  a few other symptoms to be aware of:

    • Palpitations, pounding heart, accelerated heart rate
    • Sweating 
    • Shortness of breath or smothering 
    • Fear or losing control 
    • Numbness or tingling sensations 

Reading this article, shows a bit of how we can interpret a panic attack and how it worsens, by the way we perceive the occurrence of certain bodily sensations that are normal responses when we’re anxious. So basically we get triggered (perceived threat), then a feeling of uneasiness comes over us or we think something not so great will occur (apprehension), then we experience certain bodily sensations and lastly if we think of these sensations as catastrophic enough, then that feeling of uneasiness worsens and really we continue in this cycle of panic that we at times can’t break from. It can literally feel like eternity before you’re able to calm down, especially without a plan to manage it.  

As you can see, it starts with how we interpret things and that’s something to be aware of. The awareness of your self-talk in these moments, is key. So, instead of asking,  “Why is this happening to me?”,  the question to focus on is, “What can I do right now to manage this situation?”

Figure out how to manage what you’re feeling in this moment because the focus is getting you back to equilibrium and if your cycling through, whats occurring with you, the fear you have, it’s not going to get you anywhere but still in this moment of anxious thoughts. You have to know that you will be ok, that this moment will pass, even though a bit uncomfortable it will go away, with some planning. 

Preparing for your Panic Attacks

    • Get as low to the ground as possible, sit, lay down, pull over if you’re driving, the point is to stop in the moment and in some way gain some control over whats happening. Grounding techniques work well during this time. 
    • Have a panic attack action plan around that you can utilize, including who to call, what techniques will work, steps that you can take in these moments, as well as any triggers that you’re aware of. Having this somewhere you see often or going over it consistently can be helpful to reach for, when you experience another attack. Keep it as a notecard if you find that helpful.
    • Keep a good space around you. This is not a time that you may want to be touched even if someone is trying to be helpful, let them know this is what you may need in this moment. Just their presence is good enough.
    • Try a body scan if you can, moving through each area to create some relaxation for yourself.
    • Focus on controlling your breathing
    • Make a coping skills box for your anxiety, including things that help with relaxation. Once you have this, find something in your coping skills box that can help bring you down a bit from where you’re at, a nice lavender scent, a stress ball, a picture of something that you enjoy, etc. 
    • Listen to music
    • Be aware of where you’re at, try to stay in the moment and don’t let your mind take you off into more anxiety. Focus on what you can manage in this moment, is it your thoughts, is it your breathing, it could simply be trying to focus on an object in the space you’re in,  to help calm your thoughts down. Maybe describe simple things you notice about this object, its color, shape, smell, etc.
    • Be still, no need to move around, that could make things worse, just be still and focus on a few of the suggestions above on healthy ways to try to calm down. 

Your management of things that occur in your life starts with how important it is for you to overcome it. The cause of our panic at times can be unexplainable but you owe it to yourself to take control of this aspect of your life. Find the tools that work for you, learn them, repeat them, allow them to evolve to find a base of techniques to help with how you manage a panic attack.

Thanks for reading.

Alvie 

When Its Everyone But You

How often is it that when things occur, you’re trying to find every reason to blame others but yourself?

I’ve been in many conversations with people where I’ve listened to a story and instead of someone taking fault, where they should have, there’s always a search for a scapegoat on why certain things happened the way they did. We can disregard our own faults and our own issues that we may need to work on at times. It’s time to start being transparent with yourself and looking at what you’re bringing into any situation. What little thing can always be learned in any situation you’re involved in?

We have plenty of thoughts to shift the blame on someone else. “Since this person hurt me this much, I can’t no longer be me and enjoy life like I should.” “With my family being so over-protective, I will never grow.” “This person is always messing up the flow of my day.” Add in the thoughts you have but this long line of statements can really go on and on changing your perspective on how you view things.

To learn how to get out of these thoughts its starting with, what part did I play in this? Yes, there are situations where it literally is someones fault but is there any ounce of blame that you can say you can place on yourself that you can learn from the situation. Now granted there are scenarios, where you didn’t do anything and maybe you don’t need to explore anymore on what you could have done differently but its more about what you can change moving forward so similar situations don’t occur.

At times when we constantly are blaming others for things we need to look within, its going back to our own insecurities, getting down to the true self. If we can learn to merge our true self (what we are with all our mistakes, our issues, all the good and not so good things about us) with the self we give to others (sometimes the superficial personality we exude because we don’t want that judgement once people find out who we really are), then maybe we can find some balance in us and knowing who we are to ourselves.  Could this help us start to build genuine interpersonal relationships along with caring for ourselves a bit better?

When you can stay true to the person you are, you recognize when you’re actually at fault, your brain doesn’t just switch to automatically look for fault in everybody else but you. When you train your brain to do that you’re causing an unrealistic view on how you perceive situations that occur. Your judgement on what really happened becomes skewed. If this is your life and you feel like it applies, a few things to consider.

  • What specifically needs to change?
  • What is the first step you can take towards getting more in tune with you?
  • Take a step back and think about a different way to look at situations.
  • Stop and before your mind starts to go in so many different scenarios, count to 10, do a grounding exercise before you impulsively think the first automatic thought.

Alvie

Leaving your insecurities at the door

One of the things that has always puzzled me is how we can project our own insecurities on others. Could it be that we haven’t dealt with our trust issues?  Maybe we haven’t come to terms with accepting how we look? Or is it just we haven’t been able to find satisfaction in our own lives? In these moments we start to transfer this not so great energy onto others,  without even thinking about it. I know for me something I would do was judging. I would talk about how someone was, how they possibly dressed and the list could go on until I realized I don’t have an issue with the people I talk about, I had an issue with me. There were certain parts of me that I wasn’t happy with at that time and I lashed out by thinking I was making myself feel better by talking about others focusing on certain areas that I wasn’t pleased about in my own life. I realized for me to stop doing this, I needed to make some changes and for me that included taking care of my physical health, watching my diet, and being an active participant in my own life instead of letting life pass me by.

Also, when I started to give judgmental advice, not allowing others in my life to make a mistake, or just judging them for not seeing things that were affecting their progress, that was it for me.  That told me there was something that I had to do because this isn’t how I should be. As a psychotherapist, I couldn’t be one way with my clients and another way with family/friends.

Our automatic thoughts during this time is key. Your automatic thought can go straight to what occurred in your past and you repeat this cycle of projecting past issues onto innocent bystanders. In any case this is the time to do something more with those thoughts. Believe that you can do more and act on doing more. Check those insecurities at the door, check those automatic thoughts as well. We automatically think what we have experienced so to unlearn this it will take work but you have that time. Be honest with yourself and what you project on others and be mindful of the not so great things you say about yourself/others. That right there can truly lead you to identify what things you don’t like about self and working through ways to manage that.

A few things to do to leave those insecurities at the door:

  • Be aware of when you’re doing this, stop and catch yourself in the moment and restructure this thought.
  • Ask yourself why in this moment are you thinking this specific thought?
  • Journal these moments and find a pattern
  • Plan to get out of this way of thinking
  • Do something about it, get your life in order, work on yourself, basically build yourself up like you need to

The Time That You Give To Areas of Your Life

 

What are you making time for?

 

One of the things that I keep thinking about is the time that we put into different areas that we want to work through. To see progress in one area of your life, you have to spend time making sure that you are nurturing what you’re trying to focus on. Quite often clients get stuck, they want things to start happening now but sometimes it takes time, time that some may not want to invest. There can be a mindset that if a certain plan doesn’t work, the process won’t work so people want to quit all together. This right here is where I come in to really encourage that progress can happen.

But, I always ask during these moments, What is hindering you from making time for yourself? Where is all your time going?

Sometimes, the response that I usually get is “You know, I really don’t know.”

Is it because we get to a point where we stop paying attention to what things we need to do for ourselves? Does life get too complicated that we remove things from our life that should serve a purpose and replace it with things that we settle for?

Paying attention to what you do on a consistent basis shapes your mindset, your focus, your motivation and your goals. Take social media or just the concern of what others are doing in their lives, so if that is what continues to grab your attention, you focus on trying to do what works for others and living a life that was meant for someone else instead of getting yourself together to focus on your own goals, staying in our own lane, doing what makes us happy. Another example, if you are constantly thinking not so great things, over thinking situations, etc, that can tire you out to the point where you can’t enjoy life anymore because you can’t control how you attend to certain thoughts, you limit yourself because your thoughts hold you back and then it becomes a continuous cycle that will never end until you make time to change-up your thought process.

Investing in you needs to continue to be a focus, make time for growing, learning, shaping yourself because developing into what you want to become takes time. Last week, I wrote about the things I started to do differently once my mindset changed. My focus lately has been investing more time in myself. I invest time towards work, my relationship, doing for others, writing, exercise and so many other things that I look up at times and wonder where all my time has gone. Simple projects of organizing take time now because my time and energy is being depleted.  So lately, I have been allowing myself to really be care-free and I make time to do the smallest things for me.  I take my time in making sure I’m doing what I want, making sure I’m doing things the way I would like and that’s been a great feeling. You should do the same if you aren’t already.  If you’re wanting a different outcome in any aspect of your life, its time to start focusing on how much energy you are giving things that aren’t helpful to your growth.

Take time to let your new way of doing things grow and develop. Some things that need your time:

• Find a routine that works for you on a daily

• Relax

• Let go of things

• Make your goals

• Be present

• Find your passion

• Regulate your emotions

• Build up an arsenal of things that bring a smile to your face

• Love the person you are

• For people who matter to you

• Find overall balance

 

Just a few things, let me know if you have anymore.

 

Thanks for reading

Alvie

 

Photos by knwphotos

Early Process of Decluttering Your Life

Hiiiii, so how was your weekend? Let’s see, what did I do besides decluttering, well I’m really trying to get back on track with overall wellness and getting my mojo back on just being happy.

I feel like I’ve had moments in the last few weeks where I really just couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Why I couldn’t really be motivated? If I’m really happy with different things in my life and so on and so on, but I think it’s really just wanting to make some changes for myself, how I react to things, wanting to do more with my blog platform and just being in tune with the now and not letting my thoughts about things not presently occurring influence my mood. I think sometimes it’s wanting that instant gratification in wanting a change to happen now and I’m just learning that as I’m making positive changes small or big, its something and I need to trust the process.

J.W mentioned to me that as I’m making this change towards being a better person, working towards the things I want, I’m in this space of fear, I don’t know what’s going to happen and there is this underlying feeling of not knowing what to expect and I think being a person that has to have that control at times to know what is going on, I’m not sure how to handle it. So, not sure what occurred this weekend but I feel a bit liberated. I have been in a better mood, thinking more positively and also have been able to focus a bit better on things. One of the things I did do was get back on a regular routine of dancing on Saturday and its really something when we go off track just a little on things we do that improve how we feel, it really does throw us off.

In this moment of positive energy, it really got me thinking about decluttering a few things as well, I think at times moments like this really make you look at things differently and help you see that certain things/people, probably aren’t helpful to your growth anymore.I had a client mention to me a few weeks ago a book he was reading about decluttering and not just our space but your life and I wanted to apply some of this to my own life. In the next few weeks, I want to declutter some things, my space, getting our space more organized, decluttering of certain relationships and just decluttering my thoughts. It’s just sometimes all the things we have around at times, can really just be too much and the funny thing is we don’t need all these things, as we make any positive change towards growth, there is no rule that says we need to bring all of our past baggage with us and every so often its good to remove some things in our life to have a clear mindset and focus on what we’re trying to do. Going through this process of decluttering your life is a process and the first step is expressing that this is what you want to do, so check and check back in on Wednesday, where I share more about the benefits of decluttering your life and what it can really do to your overall quality of life.